Audience Development

Artists give meaning to the work of art, but the audience gives it life - or vice versa?

No matter for whom (we think) we create - for ourselves or for them, without an audience we can't prove the extrinsic value of our practices, nor can we earn our bread and butter.

How can we make sure our rapidly changing society doesn't abandon the habit of participating in the arts?  What are the ways to develop a mutually enriching and continuous connection between artists and audiences? Is it about authentic relationships or marketing strategies - or both?

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Jamie Potter from Middle Child Theatre discusses how their New Critics' Programme is helping grow and diversify theatre criticism in the UK.
Nan van Houte talks about the importance of creative citizens and expresses a desire for funding bodies to better support cultural democracy.
Nan van Houte parle de l'importance des citoyens créatifs et exprime son désir que les organismes de financement soutiennent davantage la démocratie culturelle.
This is a book about participatory art and its more radical predecessor, community art. It is written from a perspective of engagement.
Lyn Gardner looks at how several British theatre companies are redefining their mission and expanding in ways to be of greater benefit to their communities.
Lyn Gardner examine comment plusieurs compagnies de théâtre britanniques redéfinissent leur mission et se développent à dessein de mieux servir leurs communautés.
Cultural institutions and organisations across Europe have enacted many forms of engagement, from co-creation processes (such as community art, immersive theatre, site-specific approaches) to actual forms of co-programming. In this scenario, the notion of active spectatorship introduces a new perspective.
Royal Opera House’s Swan Lake at DAGFEST 2018, Creative Barking and Dagenham Photo:  Jimmy Lee Photography
“It’s not somebody coming in to tell us we’re so uneducated we need to draw pictures!” – the words of a Made in Corby participant. Yes, that old chestnut again. Seems we’ve still not cracked it. Yes, there are some individual organisations doing great work, and yes there have been some well considered funding initiatives, but the overall pattern of who engages with arts and culture in England is still stubbornly stuck.
Why should we do participatory work? Is it possible for cultural institutions to manage cultural democracy? What are the power structures underlying participatory practices? To what extent is the participatory agenda aligned with the neoliberal agenda? How can we rethink participatory theatre? These questions were at the heart of the discussions of this IETM Munich session.
Eclipse Theatre is leading European theatre towards increased diversity – but with Brexit looming, how much longer can it last? Artistic director Dawn Walton tells how the Sheffield-based company is building international networks and encouraging directors to reach diverse audiences and programme work by black artists.

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